Come back with us to a time when Google ran less than a thousand servers

google corkboard

It’s unclear how many hundreds of thousands (millions?) of servers Google runs today, but it’s a big number. Fifteen years ago the company placed what was its largest server order to that date — for 1,680 machines — from King Star for about $109,000.

Google SVP Urs Hölzle memorialized that order on a Google+ post Wednesday, with a picture of the company’s corkboard racks — which are now literally museum pieces.

An order of 1,680 boxes doesn’t sound ridiculous in our webscale era, but at the time, Google was running 112 servers. Total. Hölzle included the order sheet in the post and it’s worth a read.

Remember, this was early days for the company — a time when its IT staff focused on — as Hölzle put it at Structure last month — “making it past Monday.”

For more from that chat, check out the video.

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